The Centre normally holds 3 one-two day conferences in the academic year, and may host others, as well as offering public lectures. The Stephen Copley lecture is held annually, and CECS staff have given papers for the York Festival of Ideas.
Where the CECS community of staff and students gather to hear and debate the latest research about the eighteenth century. And maybe continue the discussion at a local hostelry. Centre research seminars are held regularly in term time on Tuesdays at 4.30pm in KG/07 at the King's Manor.
The CECS Postgraduate Forum is a student-lead interdisciplinary research group that meets to listen to and discuss papers from fellow York postgrads, students from other universities, and visiting professors, in a relaxed and friendly environment.
Austen’s popular and critical reception through much of the twentieth century was built on her seeming ignorance of public events, well described by Marilyn Butler as her ‘discreet’ approach to ideas. But just how discreet was she? Turbulent public events touched closely the private lives of several members of the Austen family: her cousin Eliza’s first husband was guillotined; her sailor brothers Frank and Charles saw service in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars and the American War of 1812. They wrote letters home from the East and West Indies, the Middle East and Mediterranean, the North Sea and North American waters, and Austen posted replies: from Chawton to ‘Captn Austen, HMS Elephant, Baltic’, and to China. Austen’s wartime vision is neither detached nor limited; what conspires to conceal her response in plain sight is her commitment to record events from the perspective of everyday reality—the daily routines of women (and men) who are waiting at home for letters from brothers or husbands campaigning overseas, who are reading the Army and Navy Lists for notice of men killed and officers promoted, and scanning the papers for news. It is time to reclaim her as the first English novelist to explore the effect of contemporary war on the home front.